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Child Obesity

One in three children in the United States are overweight or obese. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. The prevalence of obesity has remained stable at about 17% and affects about 12.7 million children and adolescents. Despite recent declines in the prevalence among preschool-aged children, obesity amongst all children is still too high.

Childhood obesity is more common among certain populations. In 2011-2014 For children and adolescents aged 2-19 years:

  • The prevalence of obesity was higher among Hispanics (21.9%) and non-Hispanic blacks (19.5%) than among non-Hispanic whites (14.7%).
  • The prevalence of obesity was lower in non-Hispanic Asian youth (8.6%) than in youth who were non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, or Hispanic.

The prevalence of obesity was 8.9% among 2 to 5 years old compared with 17.5% of 6 to 11 years old and 20.5% of 12 to 19 years old. Children who have obesity are more likely to become adults with obesity. Adult obesity is associated with increased risk of many serious health conditions including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. If children have obesity, their obesity and disease risk factors in adulthood are likely to be more severe.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention